Markets in Everything: Trained Russian Circus Cats
Professor Mark J. Perry's Blog for Economics and Finance
The Stone Age didn't end because we ran out of stones, and the petroleum age won't end because we run out of petroleum.
Ken Green of The American Enterprise Institute sums up the fallout from Climategate:
The November employment report was released today, and the graph above of Initial Jobless Claims as a Percent of the Labor Force (1974-2009) has been updated to reflect the November labor force of 153,877,000 and the November average for initial unemployment claims (502,562 for the 4-week moving weekly average). This measure of initial jobless claims, adjusted for the size of the U.S. labor force, shows that jobless claims peaked during this recession above the levels of the last two recessions (1990-1991 and 2001), but were never anywhere close to the levels of the previous three recessions in the mid-1970s and early 1980s (see chart above).
This CF&P Foundation video explains why healthcare proposals in Washington will result in bloated government and higher deficits. This mini-documentary exposes the pervasive inaccuracy of congressional forecasts and succinctly lists 12 reasons why Obamacare will be a budget buster.
TAMPA - Swine flu immunization clinics hitting the Tampa Bay area this weekend may be a sign the vaccine is finally reaching the general public.
Starting Saturday, immunization clinics in Polk and Sarasota Counties will begin offering the vaccine to people outside the priority groups for swine flu vaccination. Also, in larger counties including Hillsborough, retail health clinics at Walgreens and CVS are being approved to serve as vaccine outlets for the general public.
MP: This highlights another advantage of the 1,200 retail health clinics around the country - they provide an automatic and efficient infrastructure that is already in place to help promote certain public health initiatives, in this case by providing a network of outlets to facilitate the distribution of the swine flu vaccine.
WSJ -- U.S. job losses slowed sharply in November and the unemployment rate unexpectedly declined, in a sign the labor market is finally starting to heal as the economy recovers. Nonfarm payrolls fell by just 11,000 last month, slowing down from a downwardly revised 111,000 drop seen in October, as the recovery encouraged companies to retain workers, the Labor Department said Friday.
WASHINGTON — New claims for unemployment benefits in the United States fell unexpectedly, according to the latest weekly data Thursday, showing fresh signs of stabilization in the ailing labor market. The seasonally adjusted number of new unemployment claims in the week ending November 28 fell to 457,000, down 1.1 percent from the previous week's downwardly revised figure of 462,000, the Labor Department said.
ABC News -- Another major provider of 401(k) accounts says the typical retirement saver now has more money in their account than they did before the stock market began tumbling two years ago. The Vanguard Group Inc. said Wednesday that 60 percent of participants who continued to contribute and stayed invested have more money in their accounts than they had in September 2007 — before the market decline. That means 40 percent of continuous participants have lower balances, although Vanguard said most of them are less than 20 percent below their earlier peak value.
From "America’s Future: California vs. Texas" in Trends Magazine:
Market-based health care solutions are discussed in this Reason.tv video, based on what works quite well in the other five-sixths of the U.S. economy, where choice and competition lead to increases in quality and lower prices over time (electronics, automobiles, clothing, etc.). In one of the few truly market-based areas of health care that is actually consumer-driven (since it's not covered by insurance and patients make direct cash payments) - LASIK eye surgery - there have been market-driven improvements in quality and dramatic reductions in cost, which could be a model for health care reform for other procedures.
Specific recommendations from Reason include:
1. Change the tax code.
2. Scale back state regulations and create a national market for health insurance.
3. Promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
MP: The chart above shows the 42% reduction in LASIK surgery between 1991 and 2009 (in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars).
One might think that in a tropical country life is organized taking the climate into account, and that along with our light clothing we always have umbrellas and raincoats at hand. Not so. Leaking roofs are common, especially in the construction of the last fifty years; homes, offices, schools and hospitals, and even stores suffer repeated losses because of them. Collapses, now typical in the urban landscape, are not the result of bombardments of imperialism, rather they are caused by the difficulty of acquiring waterproof construction materials.
Here's a good summary of why Climategate is the greatest scientific scandal of our generation:
ComScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, today reported holiday season retail e-commerce spending for the first 27 days of the November – December 2009 holiday season. For the holiday season-to-date, $10.57 billion has been spent online, marking a 3-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year. Black Friday (November 27) saw $595 million in online sales, making it the second heaviest online spending day to date in 2009 and representing an 11-percent increase versus Black Friday 2008.